Mason Dark, Wake Forest, North Carolina teen left with 80% burns to body after TikTok challenge goes horribly wrong. The dangers of social media challenges backfiring.
‘I dare you!’ A lighter, a spray can, and a social media challenge that went wrong has led to a North Carolina boy needing to spend at least the next six months in an intensive burns unit after suffering burns of up to 80% to his body.
Mason Dark and his friends were creating a makeshift torch with a spray paint can and a lighter, only for the ‘exercise’ triggering an explosion that consumed the teens in flames.
‘He’s unrecognizable. Unrecognizable,’ his mother, Holli Dark, told WRAL.
The teens from Wake Forest, a town roughly 17 miles northeast of Raleigh, were participating in a dangerous TikTok challenge where social media users use flammable aerosols to create miniature flamethrowers.
Instead of fanning the flame out, the can exploded.
The pressure to excel, shock and out-do on social media
‘They all heard a big boom. And then Mason came running out and started taking off his shirt,’ Dark said.
Mason hopped into a nearby river to soothe the burns, but emerged with charred skin.
Both moves ended up worsening his condition: The teenager suffered a T-shaped third-degree burn on his back from ripping off the flaming shift, and is at high risk of infection from the river water.
Mason was rushed to the UNC Burn Center with burns covering 76% of his body, his mother said.
‘The way he looked when those kids saw him when he first came in, to what he looks like now, it’s 100 times different,’ the teen’s mother said.
Mason has already undergone several surgeries to get skin grafts. Dark told the outlet it’s like seeding a lawn to see her son’s skin slowly heal.
The teenager, who is a very active football player and track runner, is expected to spend the next six months at the burn center.
The episode is one of many incidents leading to tragic consequences as teens continue to take on risky social media challenges.